The third way…

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I have been thinking a lot about ‘the third way’ recently. I was listening to a podcast a few months ago and the subject was about complex loss, such as when a loved one goes missing and there are no answers as to what happened to them. Dealing with these traumatic emotions and grief is somewhat different to more clearly defined loss, like a death from natural causes. During the conversation they discussed closure, whether it can be achieved after a complex loss, they said closure is not necessarily the aim or the end result, that there is a third way. The third way in this instance was rather than be swallowed by the grief and stay in the obsession of the loss, or shut it out in an attempt to reach ‘closure’, there is a messy, uncomfortable, but more authentic, third way. This third way is acknowledging the suffering and feeling the painful emotions, along with reaching for and moving towards the future without necessarily having a sense of closure. Can you feel in that description the third way feels vulnerable and messy, and yet honest and real?

In so many cases the third way is the way of healing and most true way to move through challenging times. In my case I have been trying to reconcile, in my mind and heart, a failed marriage; it was toxic and painful, but there was deep love and connection. The first way to process it could be; it was toxic therefore it was bad and unhealthy so chalk it up to a negative experience – put it in the ‘bad’ box. The second way could be; the love was so deep that I may never get over it, or feel that way again, the love of my life is lost, wallowing in the loss. And then there’s the much messier, but more authentic third way; there were parts that were unhealthy and toxic, they were bad. There were parts that were magical and loving, they were good. There is no box to put it in, it moves between the two extremes. This means there is no closure per se, it’s an ongoing organic process; there are happy memories which can hurt because it’s over, and there are painful, angry memories which can bring relief that the situation isn’t current anymore.

The third way runs between the first and second ways, which are both the more extreme options. The third way combines the two, it’s therefore a meandering path that traverses both sides without a pre-planned route or destination. This is what makes the third way so uncomfortable for us humans; we like to know exactly where we’re going and how to get there. I feel it’s so important to honour both the beauty and the pain, to feel the full spectrum of the feelings and flow with the third way.

This concept of the third way is applicable in so many facets of life; politics, health, the environment, day-to-day experience. For example when it comes to drinking alcohol, we have a growing binge drinking problem in the UK; large numbers of people don’t drink during the week then drink as much as they can at the weekend. Both of these are extremes; no alcohol and all the alcohol. The third way is the way of moderation, in this case it might be having a few drinks a couple of times a week. You often hear people say they find it possible to either not drink at all, or binge drink, that the discipline of moderation is the most difficult. You see the same when it comes to food; people yo-yoing between eating whatever they want, often to excess, then going on very restrictive diets in an attempt to counter balance the excess. When in actual fact the balanced approach of listening to your body and eating what you need, with some treats thrown in for fun, is the healthiest approach.

In Buddhism it is called the middle way; The Middle Way refers to the Buddha’s enlightened view of life and also the actions or attitudes that will create happiness for oneself and others. It is the rejection of extremes, which is depicted in the story of Shakyamuni; he first lathered himself in luxury, then deprived himself of everything, he realised neither extreme would take him any closer to spiritual enlightenment. ‘In his rejection of both self-mortification and self-indulgence, Shakyamuni awakened to the true nature of life—its eternity, its deep wellspring of unbounded vitality and wisdom.’

The Cambridge English Dictionary explains ‘the third way’ as a political movement in which the development of business is balanced with the needs of society. It is proposed to be the third way between capitalism and socialism. Taking the example of American politics at the moment, in some ways its easier for people dehumanise President Trump and his followers, and even hate them, than it is for them to have their own opinions and at the same time have compassion for, and see the humanness in, the opposition.

The tricky thing is choosing either extreme can often feel more exhilarating; there is usually adrenaline associated with the high of excess, and there may even be a sense of accomplishment in the extreme of denial. Taking the third way can feel unstimulating, boring and overly measured. There are of course circumstances which require an extreme response; a high level of adrenaline and life or death commitment to a cause. For example it took a World War to neutralise the threat and horrifying atrocities committed on behalf of Hitler.

I’m sure you can think of many circumstances, in your own life and globally, where navigating a third way between the extremes would bring more peace and healing. However as we have seen it’s not necessarily the easy option for us, in most cases it takes discipline, vulnerability and radical honesty. Cultivating this third way in our own lives, in our own struggles, and on a global scale, is a worthy practice. It will feel messy and uncomfortable, the path may not be clear, but it is where we find wisdom, acceptance and true healing.

Just because you’re doing nothing, doesn’t mean nothing is being done


My very special mentor once said to me ‘just because you’re doing nothing, doesn’t mean nothing is being done’. This phrase has been playing over and over in my head recently; it means we don’t only have to rely on our own individual actions or power to create and experience life, we have the whole universe to support us. 

This concept is pertinent at the moment because I’m in a place where I need to wait, be patient and be very gentle with myself, rather than steaming ahead taking bucket loads of action. Don’t get me wrong, taking action is essential and wonderful, but there are also times when it’s in our highest good to step back and slow down to create space and a sense of peace. Even if we want to create something amazing and huge, you could argue especially if you want to create something huge, allowing space for the universe to birth it through you is a key part of the manifestation process. 

I have been talking about this with one of my clients recently; she is creating a beautiful, soulful business and she feels guided to slow down and drop into the feminine energy of allowing, rather than the masculine energy of pushing. I can totally relate; I’m a doer, proactive and if there’s a problem or a goal I want to ‘do’ something about it. Doing makes me feel like I’ve achieved something, like I’m moving forward, like I’m a little bit more deserving of what it is that I want. But at this time I’m being strongly guided to ‘do’ less and ‘be’ more. 

Some of the things I do to create space and slow down are; watch tv for as long as I feel like, take a walk with no destination and in no hurry, take my time to cook a beautiful meal just for me, lie on my bed with my cats doing nothing, meditate, practice yoga, read a novel, have a bath with no distractions, daytime naps (my favourite!). 

Sometimes doing less and giving myself time to just do nothing, or do things which feel good but are unproductive in a practical sense, feels very uncomfortable for me. My mind can start to get anxious that I haven’t done enough, that I’m missing an opportunity, that there’s no forward motion. When I do allow myself space, time and stop doing for a while, I can feel my creativity blossoming and all the cells in my body start to hum with a contented peacefulness. It feels good! And feeling good is the best possible space from to attract what you most want into your life, according to the Law of Attraction.

It takes a little faith, patience and surrender to really create the space inside of you, and in your life, for the universe to come along and fill it up with more than you could have ever imagined. Not to mention you get to feel like you’re on a bed of marshmallows surrounded by chocolate fountains of ease and grace along the way 😉 

📷 credit The Londoner 

Guides, change and butterflies 

Butterflies signify change or spiritual transformation. The Native Americans associated change and vibrancy with butterflies because of the incredible transformation they undergo from caterpillar to chrysalis to beautiful, winged butterfly.

I’ve been seeing a lot of butterflies recently; on cards, in the park, carvings on benches and all sorts. To me this is a message from my guides that change is coming, and is needed. Change can be scary and unsettling, however the sight of a darting, colourful butterfly reminds me that change can also be magical and create a sense of freedom for me. A much desired freedom! 

All you need to do is ask your guides for guidance, ask them for a sign, to gain their support. Then be open and present to notice it when it comes. If you have a decision to make or a problem you’re turning over and over in your head, ask for the support of the universe and your guides to show you which direction to move in. 

You don’t need to know what all the animals in the world signify, or anything in particular, they will send you signs that you can understand. They won’t always seem logical, however, and it’s up to you to follow the guidance of you choose. Repeating signs are a clear message from your guides, such as me seeing butterflies everywhere. 

Try it – ask your guides to support you – see what happens… 

With so much love, Gemma 💖

How do you manifest your dream life? 


Do you ever have the feeling that you’re on a merry-go-round and not really getting any closer to what you really want? That it feels just out of reach; the job, the relationship, the ideal body? 

If I were to ask you to explain to me exactly what it is you desire, what it looks like, what it feels like – would you be able to tell me? So often we have an idea of what we want e.g. A family or a well paid job. But we are not very clear on exactly what that is. 

When we give our ‘order’ for what we most want in life to the universe we must be very clear and specific. Imagine going to a restaurant and placing your order with the waiter like this ‘I’d like something warm, perhaps cheesy, moderately healthy and I want to feel full after I’ve eaten it’. With this vague order you could end up receiving anything from a burger to cheese on toast or a ploughmans. This principle is the same when are making our ‘orders’ from the universe, if we are vague and unsure the universe gives us vague and unsure. It’s essential that we get very specific and clear about what our dreams are. 

Getting clear can be a scary process, especially if you’ve been hurt or experienced failure in that area of life before. It feels like you’re putting yourself on the line and making yourself vulnerable to disappointments if it doesn’t work out. It feels safer to stay vague and not ask for the world, than it does to ask for exactly what you want and have faith the universe will guide you towards it. Think about it, are you ok to live your life like the restaurant example? To take a gamble that you might like what you get, or you might not? 

The key is to get specific, paint a picture for the universe, write it down, create a vision board. I know it can feel scary, but it’s so worth it isn’t it? Start by choosing one area of your life and write down what your dream is in that area. For example if it’s your career it could go something like this…’I love working from wherever I choose on my business. I wake up in the morning feeling energised and excited to get started on my work and make a difference in people’s lives…’ Write in the present tense, as if it’s your current reality, this helps to convince your mind and subconscious that it is a reality – we are literally writing it into being. 

The most effective way to manifest is to connect a strong emotion to your dream. We’ve all experienced how passion can achieve far more than neutrality, take Martin Luther King, look at what he created in his short life because he had passion for his dream. So as you’re writing your dream infuse it with words and scenes that elicit a strong emotion in you; love, excitement, joy. Feel the feelings in your body as you read back over it, feel free to make changes and adjustments to make it feel more emotive. 

Once you are happy with your dream read it everyday, out loud if you can. Create a vision board to bring it life visually, you can even include pictures of yourself on your board. Create the scenes in your imagination as often as you can, feel the feelings of gratitude and joy for living out your dream. And of course be open to guidance and signs for actions to take in order to move closer and closer to your dream. It can be fun! The more you bring your vibration and feelings in line with those of your dream, the more you will naturally attract it into your reality. 

Think of your life as the canvas and you are the painter, or your life is a book and you are the author, you hold the creative power to bring it to life in which ever way your heart desires. 

The Power of Ritual (warning: my soul laid bare)

Last year I was trying to get over my marriage ending, find some resolution, understanding and move on. It’s a process. One particular day I felt very strongly guided to do a ritual for the ending of the my marriage. Funnily enough it was also 4th July, Independence Day for all my American friends. (There was no forward planning on that one.)

This is the spot that I chose, near my home in London, right by the river in a beautiful and private place.

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I wore my rings for the last time while I sat by the river feeling all the waves of emotions that were coursing through me.

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I took a copy of my marriage certificate with me (you need the real one for the divorce – which takes 2 years…so a copy was the practical option). I burnt it as a symbol of the of the ending. There was no malice involved, more of a ‘dust to dust, ashes to ashes’ type mourning vibe.

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It felt important to write a message from my soul to his on the last little piece of the certificate. Words that I couldn’t say to him in person because he would probably think I was a crazy person. I was in floods of tears as the emotions spilled out of me. At this point I should probably add, in the name of authenticity, that I also had a bottle of Prosecco and packet of cigarettes with me.

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Once I had finished saying my goodbyes I rolled the little note into my ring and prepared to throw it in the water. I said so many prayers for him and for me, that the pain would ease, that life would be bright again, that there was some point to all this.

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I threw it in the water and watched it slowly sink. So much beauty and meaning in the middle of so much pain.

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After I was all cried out and a bottle of Prosecco down I decided to go out, by myself, to celebrate the 4th of July. So I did. I went to an event in central London and met some great people and had a fun and crazy night.

It was interesting that I completely followed my intuition to do the ritual, I hadn’t read any suggestions online, I just did what I felt. And it struck me that so many rituals in life involve earth, fire and water. We are baptised in water and cremated in fire or buried in death. I was inexplicably drawn to sit down on the earth, burn my marriage certificate and throw my ring and final love note to my husband in the water. Life and death. Cleansing and detoxifying. Grounding and yet overwhelmingly emotional.

The ending of the story is not ‘and then I was fine and healed and life just got better and better’. No. It was a very special, painful, emotional, deeply loving part of the process. It created more love and acceptance and that is really all we need.

With so much love, Gemma xx

Connection in relationships

I’ve had a number of experiences recently which have got me thinking about how people connect to each other, or don’t connect as the case may be. 

There are times when people only seem to be able understand me from their current experience. When I share my feelings or my deep truths they take them, put them in the lens of their current life view and judge it to be right or wrong on that basis. This leaves me feeling not heard, not seen and judged. It makes me feel like I wish I hadn’t been so vulnerable, it makes me feel bad, it makes me cry and it makes me want to spend less time with that person. 

Is it possible for us to be open others (those who we deeply care about rather than just everyone with all the random energy they may bring) without projecting our own patterns on their experience? Maybe so but maybe it takes digging deeper, being more present and using more energy than simply listening. Perhaps holding space and being a witness for another takes effort and a willingness to ‘be’ with what is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. 

There have also been times when people have validated me not by just agreeing, but by seeing into me and hearing the truth of my experience, unrelated to their own. That feels like a huge relief, a precious gift and makes me value those people much more. 

I want to be someone who validates and sees people, sees their spirit and their truth. This is my practice.